Summary List PlacementLawmakers and the White House are renewing their efforts on police reform
Democrats control the White House and both chambers of Congress. But that doesn’t mean the Biden administration will have an easy time passing a comprehensive law to reform police practices across the country.
Following the April 20 guilty verdict of former Minneapolis officer Derek Chauvin in the murder of George Floyd, lawmakers and advocacy groups are renewing their calls for Congress to pass legislation to overhaul law enforcement.
In early March, the House passed a major police reform bill — formally known as George Floyd Justice in Policing Act of 2021 —that would federally ban chokeholds and racial profiling.
President Joe Biden has signaled his support for the bill but it faces a complicated path in the Senate where Democrats have a razor-thin majority and not enough GOP support for the kind of overhauls advocates are seeking.
All 50 Democrats and at least 10 Republicans would have to support the bill to meet the 60-vote threshold needed to pass legislation under Senate procedures.
But it will take more than just lawmakers to make police reform happen at the federal level. Even if Congress doesn’t pass police reform legislation, civil rights activists will certainly keep pushing the White House for those kinds of changes through executive action. Police unions will be fighting back or advocating for law enforcement positions.
Here are the key players shaping police reform behind the scenes.
Rep. Karen Bass, a California Democrat and lead sponsor of a House police reform bill
Bass has been a long-time advocate of police reform, dating back to when she was a community organizer in the 1990s in Los Angeles.
The California lawmaker, a recent former chair of the Congressional Black Caucus, is now spearheading the latest effort on police reform in Congress by introducing the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act of 2021.
Bass introduced a similar version of the bill in the House last summer, which passed with the support of three Republicans. However, the measure was stalled in the Senate, which was then controlled by Republicans.
But with Democrats fully in charge and the House recently passing her bill for the second time. For the past few weeks, she has been working closely with Sen. Cory Booker, a Democrat of New Jersey, and Sen. Tim Scott, a Republican of South Carolina, to pass a law enforcement reform bill in the chamber in the upcoming weeks.
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Source:: Business Insider